Could good design save the newspaper -- at least for now? Jacek Utko thinks so -- and his lively, engaging designs for European papers prove that it works.
Newspaper designer Jacek Utko suggests that it's time for a fresh, top-to-bottom rethink of the newspaper. (At this point, why not try it?) In his work, he's proved that good design can help readers reconnect with newspapers. A former architect, Utko took on the job of redesigning several newspapers in former Soviet Bloc nations, starting from basic principles. He worked closely with newspaper executives to figure out the business goals of their papers, and then radically reformatted the product to fit those goals. (And he wasn't afraid to break a few grids in the process.)
As the art director at Warsaw's Puls Biznesu in 2004, he redesigned this small business-focused newspaper and immediately won the SND award for world's best-designed newspaper. Readers responded, and circulation went up. He's now art director for the Bonnier Business Press, overseeing papers in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, and the work he oversees consistently wins major prizes (including another SND world's-best in 2007 for Estonia's Äripäev), despite their small teams and limited resources.
"Who knew that the world's best designed newspapers are in Poland and Estonia?"June Cohen, TED